Star Trek Online: Memory Alpha Crafting Guide
Crafters make up a solid portion of the rabid fan base in any MMOG. Knowing this, development teams typically take the time to create an interesting (and interactive) crafting system to keep those players entertained. You would think beaming down to the surface of Memory Alpha, a massive computer system that houses every ounce of information the United Federation of Planets has gathered, would be something not only awesome, but spectacularly so. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong. Memory Alpha isn't the most exciting place in the universe and STO's crafting system follows suit.
When speaking of crafting in Star Trek Online, I'm referring to the creation of a new item, even though a more accurate word would be "scavenge". Items are created by combining various anomalies you've collected during the course of your travels. The types you find depend upon the sector you're in. This means that if you are looking for a Tier II anomaly, you're not going to find it by searching the Delta Volanis Cluster. Each system you fly into is going to have various anomalies for you to collect. Space missions normally have three to four you can grab while ground missions tend to have one to three.
Even if you have been in an area before, rescan it for anomalies when you return. This is a great way to collect a large quantity, especially in the early space sectors. So for example, if you collect all four anomalies in space before beaming down to a planet, there will be four more you can collect when you beam back to your ship. Out of courtesy, please only do this when you're in a system by yourself, rather than a team that's waiting on you.
Once you've gathered a gaggle of spatial anomalies you're tired of lugging around (and you've received the Scientific Mandate quest from Admiral Quinn), head to the center of Earthdock Station and talk to Lt. Commander E'Genn (Egg). After speaking with him for a few minutes, he'll ask you to deliver some biological samples to Commander Romaine. To reach the Memory Alpha planet, exit Sol sector space and hang an immediate left towards the Alpha Centauri Sector. You'll find your destination in the distance off to your left (at 10 o'clock) when you warp in.
Once you enter the Memory Alpha system and beam down to the planet's surface, head towards the center of the complex to locate Commander Romaine. Feel free to discuss her current position and what's been going on before you get down to business if you feel the need. Once you've talked with her, she'll ask you to add the biological samples you've delivered to the system. Be sure to turn around and place the samples in the flashing terminal behind you. I'm not going to tell you how long it took me to locate that thing the first time I did it. I hereby take back all the ridicule and mean comments that ran through my head every time I heard someone ask where Sulu was. Video game karma has struck again so let my folly be a warning to you all.
This is where the whole thing comes together and gets exciting. All right. Not really, but one could certainly hope. To create a Tier I item, talk to Commander Romaine and enter her store. Select what you want and as long as you have the corresponding anomalies and item (most of which can be bought on Earthdock station back in Sol if you've sold all your excess loot), poof - you've just created your new item. Unfortunately, there's no indication of the system ever getting more exciting than that.
Another item of interest that I find hard to believe the Cryptic team failed to include is *any* indication of when you've finally created enough items and are ready to move on to the next tier. I've searched high and low, and have yet to see anything that lets you know where you are in the grand scheme of your crafting career. The only way I've found to determine your standing so far is to go and see if the Tier II scientists (insert names) have a Store option available in their conversation choices.
You don't need to create a terribly large amount of items to move on from Tier I. Be aware that the value of what you create is more important than the quantity of items. In other words, you'll move on to Tier II sooner if you create Mark II Personal Shields rather than Large Hyposprays. It will take far less Shields, so be sure to save up your anomalies instead of blowing them on the small stuff.
Once you've unlocked Tier II, you now have three new areas to focus on. To have access to Commander Shann's tier III items, you'll need to work with Lt. Commander Anichent and complete an undisclosed amount of items. If you want to have access to Commander Jher Gwenn's tier III items, you'll need to work with Zara. To access the goodies locked away by Lt. Kirayoshi O’Brien, you’ll need to work with Ensign Marissa Roet. These later tiers are also all without any progress indication so good luck in keeping your sanity. At least the Tier II and their complementing Tier III scientists are right next to each other so you won't need to traipse across half the complex to find out whether or not you're worthy enough to continue on your crafting journey.
The majority of Star Trek Online is still proving to be fun, but I simply can’t say the same for the crafting system. I’m not a fan of systems that bog you down with endlessly repeating combine buttons, but something more interactive is called for in Star Trek Online. Sadly, I’d rather spend my time arguing with my ship’s engineer over how long it’s going to take to research an alien artifact the crew found than spend any more time in the current crafting portion of the game.